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Back in the earlier days kids would go outside and play till dark, or until their parents threatened them with everything under the sun to come in for dinner. Now, it’s more common for kids to sit inside and play video games or to sit in front of a computer or their cell phone sending text messages to their friends. A study done in Sweden showed that regular daily exercise can improve children’s health now and in the future.
The study’s lead author stated that “Exercise interventions in childhood may be associated with lower fracture risks as people age due to the increase in peak bone mass that occurs in growing children who perform regular physical activity.” 2,300 children living in Sweden were involved in the study, ages ranging from 7-9 years old. The researchers assigned 362 girls and 446 boys to receive 40 minutes of daily physical activity at school. The other 800 girls and 800 boys in a control group received the standard 60 minutes of physical activity per week.
The study’s authors followed all of the children, monitoring their skeletal development, recording any incidents involving broken bones. Throughout the study, the researchers found that a similar percentage of children had fractures in each group. The study also showed that the boys and girls in the daily exercise group had greater bone density than the children in the control group.
The study also looked at rates of fractures and bone density loss of about 700 former male athletes who were an average of 69 years old with those of nearly 1,400 non-athletes who were an average of 70. So, do your kid a favor and get him/her moving! The exercise your kid gets now could help keep injuries that are so common in today’s population away.